Title: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Available On: PS4
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Third-Person Action
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Where To Buy: PlayStation Store
The Uncharted series stands fairly uncontested as one of the best franchises PlayStation has launched on their platforms. Each Uncharted game improved upon the last one, adding new maneuvers, expanding the story, and improving on the graphical fidelity. Each time a game released, it set a new standard for the gaming industry about what a game can look like. And when Uncharted 4 launched on the PS4, it upped the ante again with its excellent story and unbelievably beautiful art design. Naughty Dog then announced that the DLC they planned was being turned into its own standalone game, The Lost Legacy, and set the standard themselves that it would be a full-fledged experience and not just an add on.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a standalone downloadable game released by developer Naughty Dog that takes place after the events of Uncharted 4. You play as Chloe Frazer, returning from the second and third Uncharted games, who works along side Nadine Ross, returning from Uncharted 4. Together, the two of you search for the lost legendary tusk of Ganesh, the Hindu god. After taking a valuable artifact from an insurgent leader, Asav, the group ventures off to find the ancient capital Halebidu. It is here that the two discover the mysteries of the ancient Indians and the dangers of Asav and his men.
One of the key pillars of any Naughty Dog game is truly remarkable art and graphics, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is no different. The game is undeniably gorgeous, with the vibrant colors of both urban and rural India being displayed brilliantly. The main focus in this game seems to have been on making the landscapes as gorgeous as humanly possible, and it’s made very clear by Chloe’s insistence on taking photos with her camera each time she faces a new one. The art and graphical fidelity are breath-taking, and may even be more so than Uncharted 4.
Part of what makes Uncharted such a well-loved franchise is the characters, and fortunately, this game gives us some insight into two that desperately needed more attention. Chloe is as pleasant and likable as ever, while still feeling different from Nathan Drake with her lack of reverence for the history and her seemingly sole interest in the value of the item she seeks. Nadine is much different from Sully, acting as the more serious and direct member of the two.
The relationship they have together is an interesting one to watch develop over the course of their journey, going from business partners to actually respecting each other as people. While it’s not on the level of Nathan and Sully, those two also had much more time to develop, so what is done with Chloe and Nadine is a solid job considering it’s only one game. In addition, having Asav as the main enemy is excellent since he tends to act less as a military copy-paste villain from most shooters, and is instead a brilliant mind who’s seemingly one step ahead of you every time. Each time he shows up, it genuinely feels like he’s a tough enemy to outsmart or out-maneuver
The game mechanics should feel pretty familiar, as they’re the same ones found in Uncharted 4. Returning this game is sliding, hook swinging, teammate boosting, and crate moving, all of which were found in the previous game. In fact, of all the things that this game seems to miss in the normal Naughty Dog formula is an expansion of game mechanics. The combat is the same, the mechanics are the same, the pseudo-open world is the same. While all of these things feel great, it’s no step in a new direction.
The thing that the game seems to be missing the most is any major unique set piece that sets it a part from any of the other games, like the train car climb in Uncharted 2. The setting is beautiful and has plenty to do in it, but there was never really a moment in the game where I could say, “Wow, this is the part that I’ll always remember.” This missing element is probably the most noticeable and disappointing part of an overall pretty great game.
Verdict: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a great addition to the franchise, and expands on characters that needed some additional love and attention. The art design is, as always, stellar and well exceeds the rest of the industry. My problem comes with the way Naughty Dog decided to label this as a full-scale experience rather than the DLC it feels like. If it was considered DLC, this would be an excellent expansion of Uncharted 4. As a standalone game, it’s missing some elements that make it stand out as a true Uncharted game. Overall, I enjoyed my time with it, but at the end of the day, it’s more Uncharted rather than new Uncharted.
- Beautiful landscapes
- Solid relationship development between Chloe and Nadine
- Excellent acting and MOCAP
- More of the same combat and mechanics
- No distinct memorable moments or set pieces